Three members from the Rescue 116 Coast Guard helicopter crew are still missing after the vehicle crashed off the County Mayo coast, Ireland on 15 March.
News outlet The Irish Times reports that the helicopter was dispatched from its Dublin base at around 22:00 hrs to respond to a call from a fishing vessel regarding an injured crew member. A crew from Sligo was sent to pick up the patient, whilst the Dublin helicopter, with four coast guards on board, was to follow as backup and keep communications as a safety measure.
The Irish Coast Guard said that it lost contact with the helicopter around 01:00 hrs. A search mission was then launched to find the crew. One member was spotted at first light by a Sikorsky S92 helicopter based in Shannon, whilst an Achill-based RNLI lifeboat recovered him. He is said to be in critical condition.
Also taking part in the search, according to The Irish Times, is the helicopter from Sligo, an Air Corps Casa fishery protection aircraft and the Achill and Ballyglass lifeboats. Some local fishing boats have also joined the search.
Dublin's Transport Minister Shane Ross said: "As the search for the Dublin-based helicopter R116 is currently underway I would like to express my sincere support and sympathies for all those involved, particularly those family members who are awaiting news of their loved ones.”
UPDATE: The one rescued member of crew, pilot Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, passed away whilst in hospital.
UPDATE 20/03/17: A new specialist craft has been brought in to assist with the serach for the wreckage of the helicopter and the bodies of the missing crew members. It has been reported that a large section of the wreckage has been found close to the lighthouse on Blackrock, 13km (8 miles) west of the north Mayo coast. It is hoped that the bodies of the missing crew members and the helicopters black box will also be located at the site.